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Natural Aquriums
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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.19(Tue)18:18    Post subject: Natural Aquriums Reply with quote

I mean using plants and nature to make a low tech/low maintennace/low cost balanced aquarium.

It involves using little or no filter, no expensive equipment (you might even use sunlight, but no algae problem.) I've always been fascinated by this set up and now, going to try it. It doesn't boast "lust, overgrown"plants, but its keeps them healthy other wise without adding CO2 and fertilizerBut the cheapness is the most attractive part.

What does everyone think about this?

Thanks
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anonapersona
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2003.08.19(Tue)18:52    Post subject: Following Walstads book? Reply with quote

Are you following Diana Walstads book, or do you have some other source of info? I'm about to start a 4th tank and might need to do one of the small ones "natural" just to keep the chores to a reasonable amount of time.
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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.19(Tue)19:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

no, I havent read her books, but I heard its really good. I can give you some links tho:-)

also, try searching google for "natural planted tank"

http://www.naturalaquariums.com/

http://www.marksfish.f9.co.uk/fish_plants/plants3.htm
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.19(Tue)19:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 8 planted tanks. Seven are high tech high light tanks. One is a low tech low light Walstad style tank. Part of the success of these types of tanks is based on using an organic rich substrate and having it provide almost all of the nutrients. Water column nutrients are rarely added. Also key is NOT doing water changes. The build up of DOC is critical for the success of this type of tank. DOC is needed to chelate heavy metal and make iron available. The peat/soil based substrate has areas that become anaerobic, and those bacteria then reduce insoluble ferric compounds (iron with a plus three charge) to soluble ferrous compounds (iron with a plus two charge). This makes iron available to the plant roots, so that water column additions of iron become unnecessary.

While I enjoy this kind of tank too, it is very limited species wise as to the plants it can support. You can not grow Glosso in a low light non CO2 injected tank. For this reason I prefer and enjoy the high tech high light tanks with their unlimited use of plant species. But, you can learn more and get more "feel" for fertilizing issues when you do both styles at the same time. The great thing about this hobby is it's adaptability to the hobbyists desire for involvement. From the ones who enjoy constant tweaking of nutrients, monitoring levels with test kits, and frequent pruning...to those that prefer a slower pace where they can enjoy a more static aquascape without the need for nutrient additions and only an occasional plant to clip back.

Here's a crappy picture of my low light low tech 20G tank. It has about 30W of light, AquaClear 200 filter with sponge only rarely ever gets cleaned, no supplemental CO2, the only fertilizer other than whats provided by the fish is a bit of Flourish one or twice per month. Water changes are about 20-25% every 3-4 months. The plants haven't been cut/pruned, added to, or replaced in about 3 months. Essentially this tank looks the same as it did two months ago...it's very static.


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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.08.19(Tue)19:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen low tech planted tanks grow the most demanding species online. but slower(natural, remember?) here is a great link I found about the topic...

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hills/2637/index.html
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Steve Hampton
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2003.08.19(Tue)20:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

revengeishere wrote:
I've seen low tech planted tanks grow the most demanding species online. but slower(natural, remember?)


No, without proper light intensity many of the "light demanding" species will absolutely not grow properly if at all in low light conditions. Glossostigma elantinoides is a good example, under low light conditions it grows vertical instead of horizontal. There are several plants that show this tendency. Others will simply wilt and die, turning black at the base of the plant, Didiplis diandra is an example of a plant that does this under low light. Other plant, especially the red plants, will simply fail to show their color. Almost all the red plants will produce less intense red only at the water surface close to the light or simply have all green leaves. Some plants will simply respond under low light conditions by producing larger or smaller leaves, and most will grow with more spaces between the nodes in an effort to rise to the tank surface to get more light. Many novices will view this fast growth rate to the surface as an indication that the plants are doing well when in fact the plants are simply trying to reach the strongest light to survive.

Some of the more demanding plants can be grown under low light but by far the greatest portion can not and those that will grow do not display their true form and full beauty. It is best to stick with low light non demanding plants.
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